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Windows 7: Windows firewall log only recording initial one-way connection

18 Nov 2017   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
Windows firewall log only recording initial one-way connection

Hello. I have enabled Windows firewall logging in Windows 7 Ultimate. I have noticed that Windows firewall logging only logs
the initial one-way connection e.g. connecting to the web server on the LAN produces the following event in the Windows firewall log:

2017-11-17 20:43:34 ALLOW TCP 49397 80 0 - 0 0 0 - - - SEND

This is an outbound packet from my machine (, running Windows firewall log, to the web server ( Windows firewall does not record any return traffic from the web server ( back to my machine (

Similarly, when initiating an inbound connection from the web server ( to a service listening on my machine (, only the below event is recorded (and not the return outbound traffic, from my machine, which follows):

2017-11-18 10:29:47 ALLOW TCP 52437 1234 0 - 0 0 0 - - - RECEIVE

Is it possible for Windows firewall to log both inbound and outbound traffic for a connection, or is it only limited to recording the one-way initial traffic?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2017   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

What you're seeing is totally correct and the normal operation of Windows Firewall. The reason is simple: it works entirely on connections, not packets. Based on its rules, when a connection attempt is made from either side, it decides to allow it or drop altogether. The result of that decision is what becomes logged.

After a connection is allowed, the firewall does nothing more, it just let pass every packet on it. Remember that Windows Firewall is a rather simple firewall, with no stateful packet inspection capabilities, so it won't log (or care about) everything that happens on your network.

You probably what to look at a different tool for this job. A packet analyzer like Wireshark will fit you better that the logs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows firewall log only recording initial one-way connection

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